Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

BMW 3-Series 2005 and earlier



  • What exactly is smg?
  • seivwrigseivwrig Posts: 388
    topspin, I have no experience with the SMG. Currently it is only available in Europe and will be available this year in the U.S. From what I have read, it is lurchy. I think the fastest shift is 0.15 sec. This is significantly slower than SMGII, which is used in the M3 and similar to the BMW-Williams F1 cars. Bottom line, it is a manual without a third pedal, so it will not feel like an automatic.
    Personally, I would buy an SMG car. Partly because I hardly drive my 3er slushbox now. Due to shorter distance that I now drive to work and that my speed stays in the 30 to 35 mph zone. I am used to driving a manual everyday and don't care about the shifts on a manual. I can sometimes shift smoother with a manual than what an auto does. Sorry for the digression.
  • abcnycabcnyc Posts: 101
    I thought the brakes (pads and rotors) would be covered by the 3 year/36,000 miles full maintenance program ?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I found your wheels at for $299.00 each. They also sell used wheels; however, you have to fill out a form so they can "Verify Availability". You can reach the page for the new wheels by clicking the following link:

    As for your tires, I would replace them NOW, if not sooner. I don't know how far you have to go to get home, but I would not drive over 30 MPH until I got those tires replaced. I would also put your spare on the front, as it most likely suffered the worst damage.

    I am aware that there is a way to have NYC pay for damage (stuff like bent rims and cracked wind shields) to a vehicle due to road conditions (I heard about in on the radio "News Radio 88" or "1010 WINS" a few years ago, AM-880 and AM-1010 respectively), however, I cannot remember the specifics. You might want to call the City for any information.

    I guess that in the final analysis, you need two new wheels and tires. Good luck, let us know how things turn out.

    Best Regards,
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I am not sure about 2000 and later cars, however, the "Free Maintenance" program for my former 1999 328i did NOT include brakes. I have heard that BMW enhanced the program in either 2000 or 2001, however, I am unsure about whether the brakes are covered under the newer program.

    Best Regards,
  • Does anybody know if I have to wait for 15K miles, or if BMW will change the oil under their maintenance program after one year (but < 15K)? There's no way I'll have 15K at one year (probably will be about 8,500) and I really hate to wait much longer (I also hate to pay $100+ for an oil change, though). Thoughts, anyone?
  • dave330idave330i Posts: 893
    If you look at the manual, I believe it says 15k or 1 year. Which ever comes first.
  • nerdnerd Posts: 203
    The dealer changed the oil in my wife's 2002 325Ci at one year and 6500 miles and charged it to BMW. Also checked tire pressures and checked other fluid levels. The mechanic reset the maintenance monitor.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    The dealer will do an early oil change at the year anniversary, at your request. I called the dealer to verify. The service interval will not be reset and you will be required to bring the car in for the regular service interval maintenance.
  • I bent the rim on my E36 325i about a year ago -- in a city pothole-- and the rim was repaired by a local tire dealer. They ended up doing it for free for various reasons, but the charge was supposed to be about $70.

    Sometimes rims can be repaired like this, and other times they have to be replaced.

    What kind of tires did you have? I am very impressed that with the bent rims you did not get a flat. Nevertheless, I agree with shipo that you should replace the tire (ASAP), particularly if you see a bulge in the sidewall.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    My wife bought her '00 323ia CPO with 18,000 miles. Brake light came on at about 34,700 miles. According to the service order, she had the following covered under the free maintenance program: replace both front brake discs, replace sensors, replace rotors. Covered everything: pads, linings, sensors, discs, etc. And since this was the 2nd year in service anniversary, she also got free brake fluid change.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    That's an awesome video!!! You need a lot of power to be able to steer the car with the throttle like that.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Browsing through ran across this information, which I didn't see posted here.

    1. Torque has been bumped at the midpoint (3,500 rpms) to 222. Redline is at 6,800.
    2. The top speed governor has been reset to 155 mph. <---- I though this was the really cool thing. No more excuses against the competition now. :)
    3. The brochure I read lists the 0-60 at 5.9.

    brave1heart - I was cringing while watching the video. I can't believe the *flogging* that M3 was given. But it is one heck of a machine.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    As Roundel and others have written, it appears to be a way to create the next best thing to a 4-door M3. The old 4-dr M3 is sorely missed by many.
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    We got ~ 15" of snow yesterday and my 325i and wife's A4 Q in the garage begged for a back to back comparo. The roads were relatively clear and only some of the backroads had 1-2" of solid ice, snow, and slush. My 325 has light-duty Dunlop M2 Winter Sport snow tires and the A4 has Goodyear Eagle all-seasons. The 325 handled better and it braked MUCH better; the A4 accelerated faster. If you have to stop going up a very steep hill, the A4 would be able to get going without any fuss while the 325 may not be able to make it from a dead stop. Granted, the 325 brakes much better in the dry and the A4 does not have the SP like the 325. Not to mention that the A4 has 23K miles on its substandard Goodyear Eagle tires while my car's snow tires have only ~ 3.5K miles on them. The 325 performed best with the DSC off and traction control on. Braking downhill with the A4's all-seasons was downright scary. I had to be extremely careful with it at the serpentine side of our street. Also, I have driven both extensively in very heavy, wet snow and I can testify that the wetter and heavier the snow, the better the A4 performs relative to the 325. Here are some totally subjective numbers to quantify how I felt about the cars (on a scale from 1 to 10):

    325 - 7
    A4 - 9

    325 - 8
    A4 - 7

    325 - 9
    A4 - 2

    Likely not to leave you stranded
    325 - 9
    A4 - 9

    325 - 7
    A4 - 9

    Highway stability
    325 - 7
    A4 - 8

    As you can see, they are close in all categories, except that the snow tires in the 325 braked admirably better than the all-seasons in the A4.
  • Has anyone considered combining the Sport Package and the Premium Package a la carte? There's a savings of around $800 (assuming ED and $1.5k markup) from what appears to be a loss of only Driver Memory and Auto-Dim Mirrors. Is this really worth $800? Just for argument's sake, of course.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    brave1heart - interesting results. So I guess to say if the A4 had winter tires it would have been a different story for the handling.

    chaaaosss - Drivers memory, if you're the only one that drives the car, no biggie. But if you share the car, it's an option I would never want to be without again.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    brave1heart... Have you read the latest issue of Roundel (Feb, 03)? Has a great article--titled BMWs Over Ice: Stirred, Not Shaken--discussing what positive impact dedicated snow tires can have. They test three vehicles: an X5 3.0, a 330Ci, and a 325xi. Great text and photographs. Use of snow tires significantly improved winter performance for all three, including both AWD models. But what they did for the 330Ci was most dramatic:

    "tossing on snow tires had the most profound transformation of the three cars. The 330 went from pitiful observer to hockey player.... The car could be driven through the slalom--on the snowy ice, but not the glare ice--nearly as fast as its [4WD] counterparts.... It meant being able to properly stop in a straight line, and even trail brake a little.... It meant we could turn in and go around the cones, not sail past or over them, and get it pointed at the next corner."

    Ultimately, winter driving is most dependent on two things. First, winter tires. Second, driver skill. If you don't try to outdrive the winter tires, you'll likely be amazed what it can do.

    They did the test using Pirelli snow tires at the Team O'Neil rally driving school near Mt. Washington Valley, New Hampshire.
  • nkeennkeen SE PennaPosts: 313
    It amuses me to read about comparing "features" when looking at say a 325i versus a Merc 320. If "features" are what you are after (i.e., a luxury car) buy a Cadillac DeVille or a Lexus, excellent cars that succeed at their missions.

    The problems with cars like the 325i for sale in the States is that it is difficult to buy them not loaded down with junk. e.g., European auto climate controls are hopeless at holding a set temperature (GM is fifty times better at this kind of thing) sunroofs eat into headroom so my head tilts sideways, glossy wood interior looks hopelessly out of place in a 325, etc., but it's what the market wants.

    The 325i is great to drive, but not as fast or as roomy as my (very unreliable) VW GTi. And I would not have been able to get out of my neighborhood in the 325i during last week's snow storm. I think I preferred BMW's in the era of the Bavaria and the 3.0 CS -- then you knew what the company was about ; now they seem to be aimed at career thrusters who care little for cars beyone the brand's cachet, rather than real "car people".

    Why are the Bimmer's sold in the US speed-governed below the capabilities of the Euro market cars? Company cynicism about the US market?
  • mschukarmschukar Posts: 351

    This may have been covered in one of the posts I didn't read...I also have an iPod and a 325i. I've found a few solutions, but have yet to try them.

    Check out: - &s=0&g=42300&id=detailed_info&i=541BMWPILA

  • mschukarmschukar Posts: 351
    A week and a day has gone by since the Columbia disaster. Mission specialist Laurel Clark was one of the seven lives lost that day, she was also a good friend of my wife's.

    We viewed the final launch of Columbia and followed the mission daily through NASA websites. I was very excited about one day meeting Laurel and hearing tales of her grand adventure, but that day will never come. For the last week, I've been desperately trying to "meet" this wonderful woman through news reports and emails from friends of hers.

    Last night, several med school friends of Laurel and my wife met. We viewed a tape of a private memorial held in Houston, we told stories, we laughed and we cried.

    I truly feel that I don't know of anyone that has affected so many people in such a positive manner. One friend called Laurel nine days before the launch of STS-107. Her concern was not about the mission, but finishing a science project for her son Iain before they left for Florida!

    In the end, I got my wish of "meeting" Laurel Clark through the people that knew her best. She, as are everyone in the NASA astronaut program, is a truly remarkable person. I am very fortunate to have shared in the last few weeks of her life.

    Thanks for listening

    p.s. Laurel's husband begged at the memorial service that we continue to promote science and technology in our society. These seven incredible people dedicated the last few years of their lives to help improve life for all of us. Please, please do what you can to keep their work and dreams alive.
  • djocksdjocks Posts: 124
    This is for brave1heart, riez, and shapiro.

    I live in Conneticut and was fortunate to have Friday off. I just received my 330i on Wednesday of last week with Dunlap Graspic ds-1 snow tires mounted. My performance tires are now stacked in the garage. I am not going to be as fortunate tomorrow when depending on who you listen to we are going to get about 4 inches of snow. I have been driving in the snow my whole life but not since high school in an '84 Monte Carlo have I faced it in rwd. It looks like the morning will be O.K. but the ride home an adventure.

    My question is would you recommend putting weight in the trunk?
    Or in your opinion, is it not needed?

    This is for nkeen.

    I owned a 2001 GTI VR6 before getting my bimmer. My pocket rocket was well crafted, and fun. However, the driving dynamics are not close! The VW was not balanced well, rattled, was unreliable and suffered from so much torque steer it absolutely jittered when pushed. The engine was literally too big for the size of the car and fwd! My wife did not feel comfortable driving it not to mention was not high on the rocket hatch looks. The 330i is civil enough for her to drive and enjoy and the purity of the behing the wheel experience is sublime! I agree ironically that for the difference in price, the VW Jetta GLI 6-speed, was my 2nd choice and if I were buying probably the way I would have gone. But for lease value the BMW is more affordable than people think and overall in a completely different galaxy than the VW. Features are not the BMW strong suit, the driving experience is!
  • with the snow tires on. Tires make so much of a difference when speaking about a cars performance in the snow.

    To give an ex. I had a Mercedes clk430 which I just handed in. The vehicle was equipped with 17' michelon pilots 225/45 front 245/40 rear (like the bmw sport) My wife was caught in a snow storm (about 6 inches of snow nothing too bad) coming home from work. She got stuck on 3 different occasions in what is normally a 45 minute drive home. The 3rd time she was stuck was close to home. One of our neighbors who has a BMW X5 saw her fish tailing all over the place and offered to switch vehicles. Later that night I heard for about 2 hrs how the BMW glided through the snow like it wasn't there and how much of a lemon my clk430 was. It is not a lemon but if you were stuck on 3 different occasions coming home you might say the same thing. Needless to say that she now drives an AUDI A6 w/4 wheel drive and all season tires. The clk w/those tires in the snow is not bad, it is horrible, you can't drive it with as little as 1 inch of snow on the ground. Why..... tires,tires,tires
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Don't sweat it; with the winter tires that you have mounted, you will be amazed at how stable you car is, sans a weighted trunk. After all, why would you want to mess up the perfect balance your car already has? Now, your 1984 Monte Carlo was another matter; less than optimal weight distribution, no traction control and tires that have NO WHERE NEAR the grip of your current winter tires. The fact of the matter is, with only a 4&#148; snow fall, you will only have to deal with a couple of inches of slush and stuff, at worst, and at best, some well plowed roads with just a little new accumulation on them. Trust me, after you get home tomorrow, you will be singing the praises of you 330i and its tires. ;-)

    Last Friday, we got nailed here in the Boston area, and on the route that my wife drove home from work, she encountered several local surface streets that had yet to be plowed. Her comment was, &#147;Your BMW was so easy to drive that I couldn&#146;t even tell that there was snow on the roads&#148;, this from a girl who grew up in California, and never even drove on snow until she was 36.
    Best Regards,
  • That video was great.

    Truthful too. They were taking it pretty easy on the car IMO. The M3 loves to be driven sideways.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    nkeen... A huge reason BMW keeps speed limiter down (mph-wise) in many USA-models is LEGAL LIABILITY. American legal system is too pro-plaintiff. European systems discourage class action suits, often limit junk science & pro-plaintiff "expert" (i.e., paid for by the plaintiff) testimony, usually force loser to pay (so that alone is a huge disincentive to frivolous suits), often limit non-economic damages, sometimes don't have juries at all or don't let trial lawyers cherry-pick venue (which court to sue in) and individual jury members (by removing those jurors they think won't see the case their way, which tends to remove above average free thinking intelligent people from most product liability jury pools). US system not only adds billions in costs to consumers but often has adverse impact on the products we can buy.

    Check out a decent legal reference looking for BMW cases. You should be able to find the infamous mid-1990s case involving the paint job. US Supreme court did modify the damages but BMW still ended up with huge legal bills and costs all because one guy didn't like the paint job. He found a less-than fully bright jury (nothin' new in USA) and milked the system. We ended up paying for it.

    djocks... shipo is absolutely correct. You have to keep in mind that most BMWs have near 50/50 weight distribution. Throwing weight in the trunk will add a rear bias. I don't think adding a small amount of weight will upset the balance (and will slightly improve traction), but I would not recommend adding much. I haven't added any for my wife's 323ia. Keys to winter driving are good winter tires and good driver skills. One without the other won't cut it. So drive carefully, even if you have winter tires.
  • hgeyerhgeyer Posts: 188
    'Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, Or what's a heaven for?'

    - Robert Browing
  • brave1heartbrave1heart Posts: 2,698
    Yes, an A4 Quattro with snow tires will be much better in every respect except for braking.

    An A4 Quattro with good all-season tires like the Dunlop SP5000 would have done much better too. On the other hand, there are much better snow tires than the light-duty Dunlop M2s that I've been using. Unfortunately, they would be limited to 99 mph.

    No weight in the trunk!! While it may improve traction a bit, it will make the car tail-happy and a lot more likely to spin 180 degrees while cornering.
  • djocksdjocks Posts: 124
    Thanks for the tips. I am going to go at w/o bothering with weight in the trunk. I got the sport package but the funds were dry when considering different wheels. So I have the stock gorgeous sport wheels with the snows on them. You have to remember I am more concerned with keeping the car in great shape right now than my own health so to say I am going to take it easy would be an understatement.

    by the way, shipo why you gotta pounce on the old monte? J/K... :) I had some great days in old girl. Those were the days!
Sign In or Register to comment.